Other States

Elgaar Parishad: Maharashtra may set up parallel inquiry, says Home Minister

348 cases related to Bhima-Koregaon violence have been withdrawn so far: Anil Deshmukh

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh informed the Legislative Council on Thursday that the State government was considering setting up a parallel inquiry commission under the Maharashtra Police Act to probe the Elgaar Parishad case.

He said he was disappointed over the manner in which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the probe in the case. Mr. Deshmukh said he had received several representations complaining that the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government branded the people who spoke against them as urban naxals.

The Centre last month transferred the probe into the Elgaar Parishad case from the Pune Police to the NIA, a move then criticised by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

At a press conference before the start of the Budget session, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said he did not like the manner in which the probe was snatched from the State government and given to NIA.

Replying to a query on Thursday by Sharad Ranpise (Congress), Mr. Deshmukh said 348 cases related to the Bhima-Koregaon violence have been withdrawn by the State government so far.

“Of the total 649 cases filed against several people in the violence, 348 cases have been withdrawn so far. The rest of the cases will be withdrawn as and when the inquiry gets over,” he said.

Responding a query by Vinayak Mete (BJP) on whether cases filed against Maratha youths during the protests over reservation have been withdrawn, Mr. Deshmukh said, “Of the total 548 cases, 460 have been withdrawn so far. Similarly, of the five cases filed in connection with the agitation against the proposed Nanar refinery, the State government has so far withdrawn three cases.”

In reply to another question by Mr. Mete, the minister told the Council that he did not know if the inquiry commission looking into the Bhima-Koregaon violence had summoned NCP chief Sharad Pawar as a witness.

Mr. Mete had sought information from the home minister as to whether Mr. Pawar had been asked to be present before the Justice (retd.) J.N. Patel commission.

Mr. Pawar has reportedly alleged that pro-Hindutva forces were behind the violence which broke out near the Bhima-Koregaon war memorial in Pune district on January 1, 2018.

“I am not aware whether Mr. Pawar has been called by the inquiry commission or not,” the Minister said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 7:42:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/elgaar-parishad-maharashtra-may-set-up-parallel-inquiry-says-home-minister/article30937032.ece

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